Cilantro Lime Potatoes

   

When you break down the ingredients in your average breakfast burrito, potatoes are pretty common – especially for vegetarians. While they are delicious in the morning, adding potatoes to your filling options on taco night is just as good. These potatoes roast unattended while you dance around in your living room or top your previous record time for bathing a cat. By the time you’re done cleaning your wounds and applying bandages you just need to give them a quick stir and then go spend another few minutes practicing on the oboe. It’s really quite simple to make, and you have a complete, no fuss dinner when you stuff them into a couple of warm tortillas with canned black beans, fresh avocado, and (if you eat dairy) some crumbled queso fresco.

Cilantro Lime Potatoes

Whenever I buy canned black beans I like to tweak the seasoning to suit my tastes. It almost always involves a bit of oregano, ground cumin, garlic, and chili powder. I will also stir in a tablespoon of tomato paste for an extra punch of flavor. If you want your beans to have a sort of slow cooked, smoky, “meaty” flavor – bacon salt is an awesome (vegetarian friendly) way to accomplish this. I love adding a touch of bacon salt to my bean recipes; it’s not enough to taste bacony but it provides a really nice savory undertone.

Cilantro Lime Potatoes

This is a smaller yield recipe that is ideal for 3-4 people (depending on the other ingredients going into your tacos) but it is easily doubled to accommodate more. Cilantro haters need not fear – this would work nicely with whatever herbs you enjoy. Lemon and parsley would be a bright, fresh flavor for a weeknight side dish if you don’t feel like getting all Southwesterny. And of course you can always eat them for breakfast!

Cilantro Lime Potatoes

Cilantro Lime Potatoes
Serves 3
Tender potatoes roasted in a dressing of fresh cilantro and lime.
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  3. 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  4. 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  5. Pinch of white sugar (maybe 1/8 of a teaspoon, just to cut the tartness of the lime a little)
  6. 1lb potatoes, diced (I used Yukon gold)
  7. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  8. 1 clove garlic, minced
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Whisk together 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, lime juice, pepper, cilantro, and sugar. Set aside.
  3. On a cutting board, sprinkle salt over minced garlic and scrape it down with the flat side of a broad knife. Continue crushing the garlic with the salt to make a paste.
  4. Whisk garlic paste together with the teaspoon of olive oil and toss with your diced potatoes.
  5. Arrange potatoes on a parchment lined cookie sheet and transfer to the oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Toss potatoes with the prepared dressing and transfer to the oven for another 8-10 minutes.
  7. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
  8. Serve with warm corn or flour tortillas, black beans, fresh avocado, and queso fresco.
Calories
  1. 188
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/

Cilantro Lime Potatoes


Pumpkin Scones w/ Brown Butter Glaze

   

Earlier this week I decided that I wanted to make pumpkin pancakes as my next blog post, but between then and now I noticed the food blogger scene absolutely exploding with pumpkin pancake recipes. While I’m sure I could have made some great pancakes with a unique twist on them, I decided to go a different route and making pumpkin spice scones instead. I’ve never actually made scones before but I have made plenty of biscuits so I figured I could tackle the job. We loved how they turned out – a nice slightly crumbly texture but not too dry, full of warm autumnal spices and not too sweet. That is until you pour the liquid crack over them. Ok, so the scones are good, but the browned butter glaze? I need to find a scientist to manifest this stuff into human form so I can make out with it in the back seat of a car. I am not ashamed of these thoughts.

Pumpkin Scone w/ Brown Butter Glaze

 Just as I talked about in my buttermilk biscuit recipe, it’s important to use cold ingredients when making scones. Handle the dough as little as possible or you run the risk of biting into tough, chewy scone as opposed to a soft, crumbly one. For the glaze (oh man, that glaze) you have a couple of options for how you can use it. One way is to put it into a piping bag and pipe stripes across each cooled scone for sort of a toaster strudel effect. The other option is to warm the glaze slightly and spoon it over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides. They are equally delicious but the latter is more conducive to eating the scones warm (which is how I preferred them). The glaze recipe actually makes enough to frost closer to 10 pastries, but the scone recipe itself only makes 8. Oh well, I guess you’ll just have to eat the rest with a spoon… dreadful I know…

Pumpkin Scone w/ Brown Butter Glaze

I find these to be just a little more moist and slightly cake-like than your traditional scone, but I think it’s wonderful that way. You could probably increase the cooking time just a tad to dry it out some more if that is your preference. Oh and if you don’t have all of the individual spices needed to follow the recipe exactly, you could always use a tablespoon or so of pumpkin pie spice instead. Get ready for your kitchen to smell amazing either way!

Pumpkin Scone w/ Brown Butter Glaze

Pumpkin Spice Scones
Serves 8
Warm, autumnal pumpkin scones come together in minutes.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup all purpose flour
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  9. 1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted COLD butter, cubed
  10. 1/2 15-ounce can pumpkin (not pie filling)
  11. 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  12. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  13. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  14. 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  15. 1 tablespoon orange juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In basin of food processor combine flours, baking powder, salt, and spices with cubed butter. Pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together pumpkin, sugar, cream, vanilla extract, orange zest, and orange juice. Add to dry ingredients and pulse until just combined. Do not overmix.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently press into a circle about an inch thick. Slice circle into 8ths.
  5. Transfer wedges to prepared baking sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes or until the edges or just barely turning golden.
  6. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack. If piping stripes onto your scones, allow them to cool completely before frosting.
Calories
  1. 271
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/
Brown Butter Glaze
Serves 10
Rich, sweet and thoroughly addicting brown butter glaze is lick-the-bowl good.
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup or 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  2. 1 cup powdered sugar
  3. 1 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
  4. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 2-4 tablespoons milk (I used almond milk)
Instructions
  1. Using a light bottomed pan (a dark nonstick surface makes it hard to see the color of your butter change) melt unsalted butter.
  2. The butter will begin to foam and eventually subside. Whisk regularly until the butter turns a rich amber color and releases a nutty aroma.
  3. In a medium bowl combine browned butter and remaining ingredients. Beat until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve your desired consistency.
Calories
  1. 97
Notes
  1. If you use all of the icing between the 8 scones (I wouldn’t blame you!) then the calories per serving changes to 121.
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/

Pumpkin Scone w/ Brown Butter Glaze


Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

   

Biscuits with gravy. Sausage biscuit sandwiches. Biscuits with butter and jam. Biscuits with more biscuits. Maybe it’s typical of me to say because I’m from the south but… BISCUITS. ARE. SO. AWESOME. And apparently the word makes less and less sense the more I type it out. Biscuits. Bis-cuits? Weird.

Even though a breakfast of biscuits and gravy is really traditional down here (and one of my favorite things to eat) it’s something that has made its way around to other parts of the states. Even if you’ve never had yours with a savory milk gravy, you’ve likely had some sausage patties or fried chicken sandwiched within a soft buttery biscuit. If you’re not from the U.S. you might be more familiar with scones, which are very similar but not quite the same. They are prepared in much the same way but scones are usually a bit sweeter and are often full of mix-ins like fruit and nuts. Also I’ve noticed they are more likely to be cut into cute little triangles whereas a traditional buttermilk biscuit is almost always round.

OK – enough of that. Let’s get some food porn up in here.

 Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

Mmmm…

Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

 Over time I’ve learned a few things about making good biscuits. If you’ve ever made them before, or had experience with other flaky baked goods such as pie crust, then you probably know that using COLD butter is key to getting the texture right. Cold out of the fridge, cold while you’re mixing, and cold when it goes in the oven. For this reason that also means you need to handle your dough as lightly and quickly and possible. Not only will the temperature of your butter lower as you touch it, over mixing will cause the gluten in your flour to go nuts and you will end up with a dense, chewy product in the end. Unfortunately for me I have uncommonly warm hands which is why I opt to use the food processor when making biscuits. It has the added bonus of being super quick. Whenever I feel like my hands are especially hot I will run them until cool water and dry them off before handling the dough. Another tip I use for making sure my dough is super chilled is that I put the butter and flour into the freezer while I preheat my oven. If you’re reading this a feeling a little bit intimidated (“OMG WHAT IF I AM NOT FAST ENOUGH??”) – don’t be! If I can make tender, fluffy biscuits with my fists of lava anyone can.

 

Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits
Serves 6
Traditional southern style biscuits – fluffy, buttery, and delicious!
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter
  2. 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  3. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2-1 teaspoon salt (1/2 teaspoon is good if you’re serving with gravy, 1 teaspoon lets the biscuits stand on their own a little better)
  6. 1 cup buttermilk
Instructions
  1. In a food processor pulse together everything but the buttermilk until a bit crumbly. You want small pieces of butter to stay in tact. Transfer to the freezer.
  2. Preheat oven to 500F and butter a round baking pan.
  3. When the oven is hot put your flour mixture back on the food processor. Pour in the buttermilk and pulse until just combined. Absolutely do not overmix! The dough will be loose and shaggy – that’s ok.
  4. Pour the dough out onto a floured surface and with a light touch press it into a rough rectangle shape. Fold it over itself twice and then press it out again so it’s about an inch thick.
  5. Using a biscuit cutter begin to cut out your biscuits. Depending on how much you pressed out your dough, you will get 5 or 6 big biscuits with a 3″ cutter. You could press your dough out a little bit more, use a 2″ inch cutter, and probably manage to squeeze out 10-12 biscuits if you prefer that. Alternatively you could use the method of cutting out the biscuits with the rim of a drinking glass. This is a common thing to do but the dull edge of the glass can crimp and seal the sides of the biscuit, causing it not to rise quite as well. It will still work though and I did this for years.
  6. Put the buttered pan in the oven until the butter gets hot (not too long or it will smoke). Remove it and place your cut biscuits inside. The edges will probably touch and that’s ok. It’s also ok if they don’t.
  7. Pop the pan in the oven for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown on top. Eat them warm from the oven and realize how great your life is right now.
Calories
  1. 270
Notes
  1. Cake flour is used because of its lower gluten content. You could also get an extra light biscuit flour (easier to find in the south, and more expensive than the other flours) to go the extra mile. If you only have all purpose flour on hand, you can reduce the amount to 2 cups and whisk in 2 tablespoons of corn starch.
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/

Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits


Banana Rum Steel Cut Oat Pancakes

   

Oh man… it’s been a while since I’ve done this. As with many new obsessions, it’s easy to explode out of the gate only to lose the race down the road. My last post was before Christmas and originally I guess I made the excuse that the holidays got the better of me. For several weeks I was perfecting a gingersnap bark recipe that would be perfect for packing into Christmas tins. Obviously I didn’t get that done, but I’ll look on the bright side – I now have another 7 months until Christmas to get the recipe just right!

I still cook all of the time. I still plate and photograph my food. I import the recipes into myfitnesspal’s recipe builder to get nutritional information. You’d think with this much work out of the way that it would be pretty easy to write something up to share with the few people that check my little ol’ blog. Unfortunately it’s all of this stuff (imagine me gesturing at these words on my monitor) that doesn’t come so easily to me. A lot of bloggers have a way of effortlessly weaving stories into their recipe posts. They talk about remembering the smells of their grandmother’s kitchen as she baked dinner rolls. Maybe they recall their recent visit to the farmers market where they found beautiful fresh cut sunflowers and the first perfect strawberries of the season. You see, I don’t have these types of stories to share with readers. I’m just a gal that cooks and eats. Ever so often I cook (and eat) something that really stands out, in this case enough to make me… could it be? Write a blog post about it??

Banana Rum Steel Cut Oat Pancakes

Inspiration struck me one morning when my sweet tooth demanded pancakes… more specifically the oatmeal “Cory cakes” available at the Dallas coffee shop Legal Grounds. They make them with oatmeal, which lends a slightly nutty flavor and subtle texture to the cakes. They are delicious. In addition to that craving I realized that oatmeal pancakes always seem to call for rolled oats, but I’m a steel cut oats kind of gal. Add in the overripe bananas I had sitting on my counter and you have all of the ingredients (HAHA INGREDIENTS! FOOD PUN!) for the sort of cooking experimentation that I love.

Well here it is folks – the pancakes that reawakened the dormant food blogger within me. My maple muse. When I first made these they were such a big hit that I made them again a few days later.  Then I made them yet again this morning, this time opting to try out my vegan substitutions just to ensure the quality didn’t suffer in the process. That first photo up there is of the vegan version by the way – I guarantee you nobody would know it either. The original version (shown in the other two photos) was made with a small amount of sour cream. If you find yourself with time to make a special weekend breakfast, I highly recommend giving these a try. They are some of the best pancakes I’ve ever made!

Banana Rum Steel Cut Oat Pancakes

Banana Rum Steel Cut Oat Pancakes
Serves 5
Sweet, fluffy, and hearty – these pancakes are definitely a favorite.
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup dry steel cut oats
  2. 2 tablespoons flax meal (see notes for substitution)
  3. 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  4. 1 cup of milk (I used unsweetened flax milk – but use what you have around)
  5. 2 tablespoons of sour cream or yogurt (2 more tablespoons of nondairy milk if vegan)
  6. 1 tablespoon spiced rum
  7. 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  8. 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
  10. 1 tablespoon white sugar
  11. 1 tablespoon baking powder
Instructions
  1. Cook the oats according to package instructions. I used a quick cooking variety that takes less time and uses less water. When it’s finished remove from heat and stir in the flax meal. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl combine the oatmeal with all of the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. With a gentle hand slowly stir until just moistened. Do not over mix or your pancakes might be tough. This isn’t the kind of runny batter you get out of a squeeze bottle in a store. It will be pretty thick.
  5. Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour the pancakes onto a medium hot skillet. You can lightly coax it into a circular shape, but work quickly. When the edges of the pancake start to look dry, flip to the other side and cook a few more minutes. Makes about 10.
Calories
  1. 217
Variations
  1. I don’t cook with eggs, which is why I add the flax meal. I know this is an unusual ingredient. You can try leaving it out and just adding an egg into the liquid ingredients. The batter would be a little thinner but they should still work just fine.
  2. If you don’t have any rum on hand, you could use a bit of vanilla extract in its place.
  3. For a lower calorie alternative you can use a sugar free substitute in the pancakes and skip the maple topping, which adds about 100 calories per serving. Some light whipped cream with sliced bananas could be a healthier option.
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/

Recipe: Maple Banana Rum Topping

Summary: Liven up the maple syrup with fresh banana and a splash of rum.

Ingredients

  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup, warmed
  • Splash of rum, to taste

Instructions

  1. Stir it all together and serve over pancakes. Easy!

Preparation time: 2 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Calories: 100

Banana Rum Steel Cut Oat Pancakes


Savory Steel Cut Oats For One

   

I attend an exercise boot camp three days a week. Whenever I get home I try to make it a point to eat something, even though I’m usually too worn out to want to prepare anything. Smoothies and shakes are an easy go-to fix for those mornings, but I’ve always been one to prefer savory breakfasts over sweet ones. While I have never been a fan of oatmeal, after I was introduced to steel cut oats I developed more of a tolerance for them. And that’s really all it was – a tolerance. Many mornings I would whip up a batch of sweet oatmeal with cinnamon and bananas, but it’s not really my thing. Then savory oatmeal came into my life and changed everything. I can honestly say I LOVE oatmeal when it’s prepared this way, and I never would have thought I’d say that I love oatmeal. The way I prepare it makes just enough for myself and has the good things I want after a workout, like protein and whole grain. Not to mention that it’s under 350 calories and is as easy to prepare as measure, stir, wait, and stir. Honestly this stuff is pretty fool proof and makes you feel like you’re eating a fancy pants risotto. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.

 

Savory Steel Cut Oats For One
Serves 1
Oatmeal with sausage and smoked cheese makes for a filling and simple breakfast.
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  2. 1-1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (depending on how thick you like your oatmeal)
  3. 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  4. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  5. 1 vegetarian sausage patty, cooked and chopped
  6. 1 oz smoked gouda, shredded
  7. 1/2-1 cup arugula or spinach
Instructions
  1. Bring stock to a boil then stir in oats and spices. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Stir in chopped sausage, shredded cheese, and greens. Salt and pepper to taste then enjoy!
Calories
  1. 328
Variations
  1. You could use rolled oats in this recipe to dramatically cut down on the cooking time, but I think the steel cut oats provide a less “mushy” texture.
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/


Hummingbird French Toast

   

Today I’m going to tell you a little story about a mild baking failure that was reborn as a heavenly breakfast dish the following day. Like a diabetic phoenix rising from powdered sugar ashes.

I’ve been working on refining a recipe for a hummingbird cake in bread form. The first loaf I made came out a little too dense and dry for my tastes so after some modifications the second loaf went into the oven. When it finished and cooled, I sliced off the end piece and knew I was on the right track because this time the bread was fluffy, moist, and delicious. Excitedly I started slicing off more pieces to plate for photographing, but as I made my way to the center I learned that the loaf was undercooked. The middle was far too wet as the bread really needed at least another 15-20 minutes in the oven. While I could have transferred it back to the oven to try and bake it through some more, I really wanted to be able to write up an exact cooking time when posting it to my blog. The only option for getting it right was to start the recipe from scratch again and to try and perfect the cooking time. Third time’s a charm, right? We will see when I make it again in a couple of days!

Now I am left with this poor, flawed loaf that never got to mature into its hummingbird adulthood. Don’t worry little guy, I won’t give up on you! I will wave my magic spatula and turn you into the best darned french toast ever.

 

I knew that my friend Chris (someone with more enthusiasm for eggs than is normal for any human being) would be over for breakfast. Considering I was going to be making French toast for him, a French toast without any eggs, I had my work cut out for me. Then of course there is Jah, who has never eaten French toast because he has never eaten eggs. I also wanted to make his first experience as enjoyable as possible. There would be judgement happening here, yo.

Seeing as the bread was already sweet and a little under-baked, I opted to do two things with the batter. The first was that I wanted to make it slightly savory with the addition of neufchâtel cheese (inspired by the use of cream cheese frosting on hummingbird cake). Second was that I wanted to brush on the batter rather than dipping the slices, so it wouldn’t be a soggy mess. Just enough to crisp up those edges. While this would have been delicious with a pat of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup I really wanted to play off the ingredients in the bread a little further. I whipped together a sweet caramel rum sauce with bananas, pecans, and cinnamon that was spooned over the top with a dusting of powdered sugar.

The verdict? Both of the guys loved it! As a matter of fact Chris said that I have ruined French toast for him forever because this version was way too delicious. If that’s not an indicator of the tastiness of the recipe then I don’t know what is. So if you find yourself stuck with a loaf of undercooked sweet bread, don’t lose heart. You can always turn that sucker around into something awesome. That said, you certainly don’t need a fail-loaf to make this tasty dish. Whatever bread you have lying around would work beautifully.

Hummingbird French Toast w/ Banana Pecan Topping
Serves 6
A decadent and sweet treat that’s simple to whip together and requires no eggs.
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 tablespoons milk
  2. 1 tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer (use corn starch or flour if you don’t have this)
  3. 2 oz neufchâtel cheese
  4. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  5. Dash of cinammon
  6. Dash of salt
  7. 2 tablespoons butter
  8. 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  9. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon cinammon
  11. 1 tablespoon spiced rum
  12. 1 banana, sliced
  13. 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  14. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  15. 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  16. 6 thick slices of hummingbird bread (any other dessert bread is fine)
  17. Additional butter for frying
  18. Powder sugar for garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, egg replacer, cheese, vanilla, dash of salt and dash of cinnamon. Brush both sides of each slice of bread with a fairly thick layer of the batter. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When it starts to bubble add sugar, salt, cinnamon and rum. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add in banana slices and pecans. Let simmer lightly for a few minutes until the bananas begin to soften. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and heavy cream. Transfer to a dish, cover, and keep warm while you prepare the toast.
  3. Wipe out the nonstick skillet and melt a small amount of butter in it on medium heat. Cook the bread on each side for 4-6 minutes or until lightly browned. Flip and continue cooking on the opposite side until browned. Serve with a spoonful of the banana topping and a sprinkling of powdered sugar if desired.
Calories
  1. 334
Notes
  1. The caloric information on this dish will vary depending on the type of bread you use. In my case the hummingbird bread is under 200 calories per slice. The batter and topping account for 140 calories.
Gouda Monster http://www.goudamonster.com/